Are you getting enough protein every day? People usually focus on including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet to get sufficient vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. However, you should know that protein has a crucial role in building a healthy and strong body.
How you eat your protein is also important. According to a report published by the Dairy Council of California, while research shows that Americans get too much protein over the course of a day, the body can best use protein only if a steady amount is consumed over the day – with larger portions at breakfast and lunch and less at dinner. Here are some of the top health benefits of eating the right amount of protein:
- Protein is filling, and when you feel full it helps you not to over eat. This is really important when it comes to weight management.
- Protein preserves lean body mass and bone health and helps prevent chronic diseases. Higher protein intake enhances bone density and lowers the risk for osteoporosis.
- It improves the effects of exercise, especially strength training, by helping the body build muscle more effectively.
- Stronger tendons and faster recovery from injury, lower blood pressure, and better brain function are other benefits of spreading protein intake across the course the day.
- High-protein diets promote better sleep and improve quality of life as you age.
Protein-rich foods include milk, milk products, fish, and poultry, lean meat, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, teenage boys and active men need three daily servings for a total of seven ounces, children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people need two daily servings for a total of five ounces, and older children, teen girls, active women, and most men need two daily servings for a total of six ounces. The best way to determine your specific protein requirements is to talk to your physician.